During the season of giving, Char and Tim Seawell like nothing more than to play music for a good cause.
The husband-and-wife folk duo from Bothell — with the band name Windfall — will perform a concert Dec. 29 to benefit the Seattle nonprofit organization Treehouse at Cafe Zippy in Everett. Treehouse helps more than 7,500 youth stay on track with their academic and career goals each year.
Windfall will be joined on stage by Seattle folk rock singer Deb Montgomery, whose music has been compared to that of Grammy nominee Brandi Carlile.
Cafe Zippy owner Marilyn Rosenberg reached out to the Seawells with the idea. A retired teacher who worked for the Everett School District for 28 years, Char Seawell said Rosenberg couldn’t have picked a better cause to support.
“I had students who were foster kids in my classes, and I know that they had many obstacles to overcome,” Char Seawell said. “Foster kids need someone in their corner showing them the ropes and helping them navigate the (school) system. Especially when they age out of foster care.”
The Seawells, both 66, don’t just play shows around the holidays; they perform for fundraisers three to four times a year. Their shows have supported local organizations like Cocoon House in Everett, Bothell Community Kitchen and the King County Search and Rescue. The Seawells especially like to help organizations that support youth.
“Marilyn gets all the credit for this,” Char Seawell said of Saturday’s concert. “She has such a heart for the community.”
They’ll play originals inspired by classic folk songs from the 1960s and 1970s. Char writes all of the duo’s songs; both Char and Tim play the guitar and sing in the band.
The couple have released three albums and nearly 40 songs as Windfall. Their songs tell stories of everyday struggles and triumphs, close to home and around the world.
Their single “Shores of Italy” was inspired by a TED Talk about a young couple’s attempt to flee a Syrian refugee camp and marry after crossing the Mediterranean Sea. The song was a semifinalist in the acoustic and folk category at the 2016 UK Songwriting Contest.
“It was a story that needed to be memorialized,” Char Seawell said. “I’m inspired by the tenacity and residency of the human spirit.”
The Seawells both have been musicians from an early age. Tim, who was raised in Edmonds, played the trumpet and baritone for Edmonds-Woodway High School’s band. He taught himself to play the guitar his junior year.
Char, who grew up as an “Army brat” in California and Japan, plays four instruments — the violin, saxophone, bassoon, drums and guitar. As an up-and-coming singer-songwriter, she performed at military bases and with country rock bands.
They met through an ad for the Musicians’ Association of Seattle and married in 1986.
Now that they’re both retired, they have more time for performances.
“We have been blessed with a good life,” Char Seawell said, “so our give-back is our time and our music.”
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you go
What: Windfall concert to benefit Treehouse
When: 5 p.m. Dec. 29
Where: Cafe Zippy, 1502 Rucker Ave., Everett
Cost: Free, but donations will be accepted